Kyiv rents lower than Lviv, Swiss bank freezes Russian assets, inflation slows in Ukraine

14 February, 03:20 PM

Your slice of the top headlines in Ukraine. Daily. Tuesday, February 14th, 2023.

•   Rent in Kyiv has fallen by an average of 30-40% over the past year, but there are few people willing to rent.

For two months now, we have not been able to rent out a two-bedroom apartment in Kyiv on Drahomanova Street (Poznyaki) for UAH 11,000 ($299) per month, says Dmytro Korchev, director of Brok-Realty agency. In the west of the country, in Lviv, Uzhhorod, and Chernivtsi, you can rent housing without any problems, but it will cost more than in Kyiv.

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•   Credit Suisse Group AG has frozen Russian assets worth CHF 17.6 billion (over $19 billion).

The assets account for about one third of all Russian assets declared in Switzerland. Only about CHF 4 billion ($4.3 billion) are of individuals sanctioned by Switzerland, while another CHF 13.6 billion ($14.7 billion) belongs to people sanctioned by other countries.

•   During the year of Russia's full-scale invasion, the net profit of Ukrainian banks has fallen by UAH 53 billion ($1.44 billion) as banks were forced to increase their reserves.

At the end of 2022, solvent Ukrainian banks received UAH 24.7 billion ($670 million) in net profit, compared to UAH 77.4 billion ($2.1 billion) a year earlier, the central bank said. As of Jan. 1, 2023, 46 out of 67 solvent banks were profitable and made a net profit of UAH 45.6 billion ($1.24 billion).

•   Denmark has transferred all of its French-made Caesar self-propelled guns to Ukraine.

The Danish government also plans to join the tank coalition and transfer Leopard 1A5 tanks to Ukraine. “A true friend, who knows that our fight is Europe’s fight. Tak, Danmark!” wrote Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense.

•   The Ukrainian government is negotiating a cooperation agreement with the largest U.S. bank JP Morgan Chase, and the parties have already signed a memorandum of understanding.

From the Ukrainian side, the meeting was attended by PM Denys Shmyhal, Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko, and Reconstruction and Development Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov. The PM stated that Ukraine needs investment surge for post-war economic recovery. He identified the following promising areas for private investors: energy, agriculture, natural resources, digital technologies, infrastructure rebuilding.

•   Ukraine's state nuclear operator Energoatom and Canadian uranium company Cameco agreed a large contract for supplying Ukraine with volumes of natural uranium hexafluoride.

The deal also includes the option for supplies for Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which is currently under the control of Russian invasion forces, Cameco said in a press release issued on Feb. 8. Key commercial terms have been already agreed to, including pricing, volume and timing.

•   French President Emmanuel Macron has said that fighter jets will not be supplied to Ukraine “under any circumstances … in the coming weeks.”

Macron said priority should be given to “more useful” and “faster” types of weapons, in the later case meaning ones that could quickly be brought into battle by Ukraine. Despite Ukraine having already requested fighter aircraft several times over the past few months, Macron said that in his opinion the supply of combat aircraft “today does not meet (Ukraine’s) needs.”

•   Consumer price growth in Ukraine accelerated to 0.8% in January 2023, against 0.7% in December and November 2022, but overall the pace of price rises in the country has slowed in recent months.

The most recent data is significantly below October’s indicator of 2.5% and the 1.9% recorded in September. In addition, inflation was recorded at 1.3% in January 2022, so in annual terms, according to the results of January 2023, it decreased to 26%, down from 26.6%.

•   The Ukrainian government has approved a plan to utilize a U.S. grant of $6 billion, looking to fund education, healthcare, and social security in the country.

The grant will come through a donor fund administered by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association. “A grant in the amount of $165 million from a number of European countries will also be provided through this fund,” PM Denys Shmyhal added.

•   The World Bank will provide $50 million in funding to repair Ukrainian transport infrastructure destroyed by Russian attacks.

“The World Bank announced today a new $50 million project to repair and restore Ukraine’s transport network to support immediate humanitarian relief and recovery, and increase capacity of import and export corridors,” the World Bank said in a statement. “The grant financing for this project is provided by the Ukraine Relief, Recovery, Reconstruction, and Reform Trust Fund (URTF), with additional funding of up to $535 million envisaged to follow shortly.”

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•   Russia lost around 1,140 troops over the past day, the Ukraine’s General Staff reported on Feb. 11.

That represents the single largest loss of enemy soldiers recorded by the Ukrainian soldiers in a 24-hour period since the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. With Russia’s long-expected fresh offensive apparently having already kicked off in eastern Ukraine, the number of Russian troops killed, as recorded by the Ukrainian military, has surged in recent days.

•   Professor Timothy Snyder, a Yale University expert on the history of Ukraine and Eastern Europe, has raised almost $1.3 million for a Russian anti-drone system known as the Shahed Hunter.

“Six such systems already protect Ukraine’s energy facilities from Russian attacks. Thanks to Timothy’s fund-raising, we will buy even more ‘Hunters,’” Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov said. Snyder raised $1,268,196 under his own name through United24, a fundraising platform, initiated by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The goal was to raise $1,250,000.

•   The day’s long read: Fired deputy economy minister to become top manager of state oil company

NV investigates the background of Denys Kudin, who’s being fingered for the top post at Ukrnafta.

Don’t miss: ‘Russian offensive began with the appointment of Gerasimov’

NV interviews war correspondent Andriy Tsaplienko about the new Russian offensive, who shared his thoughts on what to expect by the end of spring, looking from today’s perspective.

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